Protein structure determination has proved an increasingly popular method for gaining insight into protein function, and to activating or deactivating protein activity through binding of drugs. Being able to proceed in a timely fashion from protein target identification to a system compatible with structure determination by X-ray crystallography is a key aim, both in academic and industrial settings.
My research is currently focused on the construction and implementation of the VMXi beamline. This beamline will operate entirely automatically, collecting X-ray diffraction data from macromolecular crystals in situ (in the tray in which they were grown). My areas of interest in this research are assessing the data quality from each of the two monochromators available (DCM and DMM), provision of software for users to interact with the beamline and methods for serial and time-resolved crystallography at VMXi.
I have been involved in a number of research activities including:
- high throughput structure determination in collaboration with the Oxford Protein Production Facility
- protein crystal dehydration using the HC1b in collaboration with Juan Sanchez-Weatherby
- integration of RADDOSE with data collection software in collaboration with Elspeth Garman
- python scripting to optimise beam delivery to users
- ultra high resolution structure determination
Alongside my research my current role at Diamond centers on the support of users before, during and after their beamtime with us. In addition, I undertake the user and user support scheduling and assist with the development of the UAS software to facilitate that role. I have a number of additional responsibilities at Diamond, predominantly assisting in the administration of the MX Village.